Scribing Formica Countertops Without Chipping

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Fitting countertops tightly to adjoining walls can be a bit tricky, but following these tips will ensure accurate fit to a wall or even a cabinet. Some countertops come with a backsplash attached to the countertop while others have a separate backsplash. On the countertops with attached backsplash, it is usually constructed to allow for trimming the backsplash where it meets the wall. Let's discuss this method of fitting called "scribing". A scribe is like a compass with a pencil on one side and a metal point on the other. It is also used to draw circles.

In order to accurately explain this method we must use an example of how the countertop is orientated. I will use for the example, a countertop which adjoins to a wall on the left side and of course, the length of the back. We will scribe the end first. Measure the length of the cabinets from left to right, and add ½ inch to that dimension. After measuring, mark the dimension on the countertop. Apply masking tape (across the width of the countertop) where the mark is.

Set the top on the cabinets and push countertop back to where it touches the wall at the back of the cabinets. Measure from the front of the cabinets to the front of the countertop at each end. Make this dimension the same on each end and push the countertop until it touches the left end wall. The countertop should be parallel to the face of the cabinets.

Set the scribes to the dimension where you previously marked the countertop to the wall. Hold the scribes as vertical as you can and mark the line down the width of the countertop onto the masking tape. Do the same process to the back of the countertop. Now, place the countertop onto a pair of sawhorses and begin cutting the top at approximately 1/8 "from the line on the waste side. Tilting the circular saw in a slight angle called undercutting will allow for the next step to be performed smoothly.

After cutting, use a belt sander with a rough belt and sand to the line. Remove the remainder of the masking tape and fit. The countertop may require a bit if fitting so repeat the process above but omit the use of the circular saw. Install the countertop this screws and caulk edges if necessary.

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Source by Brian Scudder

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